It’s still hard to appreciate the magnitude of 8 straight Finals for LeBron. Last year was the first time in a long time LeBron was watching the Finals on TV with the rest of us. Even The King didn’t make the playoffs his first two seasons of his career.
JJ Redick has. Holding the longest playoff streak in the NBA, JJ made it to 13 playoff appearances in his 13 NBA seasons. At this point, you are probably trying to remember all teams JJ was on. Let’s backtrack it. The 76ers with Embiid and Simmons, that makes sense. The Clippers with CP3, Blake, and DJ, also makes sense. Could you name the team he was on before that?
In the 2012/2013 NBA season, JJ Redick played for the Milwaukee Bucks led by Monte Ellis, Brandon Jennings, and Ersan Ilyasova. With a 38-44 record, the Bucks made it to the playoffs only to be swept by the Miami Heat in the first round.
Before that, JJ made the playoffs every year with the team that drafted him, the Orlando Magic. Sounds weird if you think about Orlando as the perennial lottery team but in those days we are talking about Dwight Howard in his prime, led by Stan Van Gundy who pioneered a setup with a center and 4 shooters bombing threes.
Will JJ keep his streak alive? For a roster full of new faces, built around a lot of young talent the Pelicans look like a sneaky playoff contender. If they were in the East you’d consider them a comfortable playoff team. But the West is a different animal and JJ is more likely not to make it for the first time. That didn’t stop him from letting Zion know he’s having none of that.
The odds aren’t on their side and the Pelicans priority will be to help Zion learn the NBA game and lifestyle, figure out who’s compatible with him and think long term. But we know enough about Alvin Gentry and David Griffin to know that if there is a chance, the Pelicans will go for it.